By Phil Hecken
A couple weeks back, I ran the first part of a look at Italy’s top soccer league, Serie A, which was written by Uni Watch reader Alex Giobbi, who posts as “Hodges14.”
Today I’m back with Part II of that article (which will run in three parts). If you need a review of the first part, just click on the link in the first graf.
And now, here’s Alex with the Part II of…
The Uniforms of Italy’s Top Soccer League
By Alex Giobbi
Years in Serie A: 47 (Current term, since 2007-08)
Colors: Red and Blue
Sponsors: iZi Play (an Italian gambling/poker site)
Genoa C.F.C is one of the oldest squads in Italian Football, formed at the end of the 19th century. Formed by British nationals, the squad was known for its early dominance in the years before the official Serie A was formed. In fact, they won the first championship in Italian football history, in 1898. This was followed by 8 more titles, as well as 8 second place finishes. In fact, one could argue that Genoa was a giant in the early days of Italian football. Nowadays, the team is a perennial bottom half finisher, having spent the last two seasons finishing just shy of relegation to Serie B, despite investments in striving young talent.
Despite Genoa’s current pitfalls, the team has worn aesthetically pleasing uniforms over the course of their history. When the team consisted of British nationals, they wore the white of their national team. making for a pleasing, if somewhat primitive uniform. Now, the team wears red and blue, with kits that look similar to Cagliari’s. Genoa is one of the few teams in Serie A that does not wear third kits, although their recent decision to go from sponsorless to sponsored leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth. I liked last year’s kit, especially the away kit which had the crest in the center of the chest. Now, it just looks terrible.
Years in Serie A: 82 (Never relegated)
Colors: Blue and Black
Sponsors: Pirelli (Italian auto parts company)
Inter is one of the big three Serie A Clubs in terms of international recognition, behind only Juventus and AC Milan. They have played in Serie A since the league’s inception, have won 18 titles and finished second 13 times, won the UEFA Champions league 3 times, basically this team is world class. Also, my first soccer jersey was an Inter Milan jersey, which my dad, who admittedly is an Inter fan, bought while on business in Italy, and I also own an Inter scarf, although I am not an Inter fan anymore. (Conversely, my sister is an AC Milan fan, my dad having bought her a jersey and scarf. ) Moving on. Inter has fallen on hard times as of late, especially since French giants Paris St. Germain gutted them of their talent, including top striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Still, despite struggling this past season, Inter is likely going to have a strong year, especially with new coach Walter Mazzarri behind the helm.
Inter has one of the classic jerseys that you should immediately recognize, with vertical blue stripes, and the crest on the right side of the jersey. Their road kit is a clean white, an obvious improvement on last year’s red mistake, Inter, like Genoa, does not wear a third kit, although if they do, they should consider wearing one that pays homage to the original Serie A Champions.
Years in Serie A: 81 (Current Term, since 2007-08)
Colors: Black and White
Juventus is the second most internationally recognized Italian team, the third oldest, and the most successful team in Serie A, with a whopping 29 wins and 20 second place finishes. Called “The Old Lady,” and “Italy’s Girlfriend”, Juventus is like the New York Yankees of Italian football, their success is well documented, their fandom is global, and the majority of their roster is on the National Team. Juventus has been in the top flight all but one year, the 2006-07 year, which they were demoted because of the infamous match fixing scandal. Since then, they have come back, and are always threats to win the Scudetto and go undefeated.
Juve’s home kit is easily recognizable, the black and white stripes are well known throughout the country, and can be equated to the famed Yankee pinstripes, Manchester United red, Real Madrid white, Los Angeles Lakers purple and gold, basically it’s an international identity. Their road kit is unfortunately YFYS, which considering they have a black alternate which would make a suitable road kit, I have no idea why they chose this for travel days. It could be worse though.
Years in Serie A: 71 (Current Term, since 1988-89)
Colors: Sky Blue and White
Lazio is one of the three clubs in Serie A (The others are Juventus and Atalanta), but unlike those two which are nicknames, Lazio is names after its city’s region. The Eagles have had a long history in Serie A, and in that history, they have won Serie A twice, the most recent win coming at the turn of the century in 1999-2000. Lazio usually can be found in the top half of the league, and has avoided relegation to Serie B for almost 25 years.
Lazio is one of the few teams that refuses to wear a sponsor on their kits, leaving them pure sky blue shirt, although last year, in light of violence that happened during a Europa League match against Tottenham Hotspur which resulted in a Spurs fan being stabbed, the team broke their code to wear a kit with “No Racism” emblazoned on the chest. This year, the team brings back the navy kit, although this one is different from last year’s, which had a horizontal blue bar on the chest. Gone, however is Lazio’s white kit, in favor of a YFYS kit, which looks almost neon. Granted, there is yellow in Lazio’s kit, but it’s more of a gold yellow than the neon that Lazio will wear this year.
A.S. Livorno Calcio
Years in Serie A: 18 (Current Term will begin this year)
2012-13: Serie B Playoff Winner
Colors: Maroon and Yellow
Sponsors: Banca Carige (Italian Bank)
Livorno was the last team promoted from Serie B, and will begin their newest Serie A campaign this year. Livorno has not been a strong team historically, and is likely to finish in the bottom half of the league, if not relegated.
Livorno’s kits adhere to the team’s color scheme, with the maroon serving as the home and white as a road kit. Their third kit is yellow, but because yellow is an accent color, it cannot be considered YFYS.
Years in Serie A: 80 (Current Term, since 1983-84)
Colors: Red and Black
Sponsors: Fly Emirates
AC Milan is the most internationally recognized club in Italy, more than Juventus and Inter. They are the third oldest club, behind Juventus and Genoa, and is the second most successful club in Serie A, with 18 championships, some of which predate Serie A. Milan last won Serie A back in 2010-11. Milan is known for their star talent, including polarizing stars Mario Balotelli and Stephan El Shaarawy, and have a political advantage in owner Silvio Berlusconi, although his… pedophilic tendencies have landed him in hot water as of late and he will not run the club this year. Milan has been in Serie A all but two years, when the team made two separate cameos in Serie B in the early 1980’s.
Milan, like rival inter, wear a striped red kit at home, and a white kit on the road. They are sponsored by Fly Emirates, which likes to sponsor high level clubs, like Arsenal, Paris St. Germain, and Real Madrid. Milan has not been much of a third kit advocate, but as of last year, the club decided to break tradition and pull out a metallic gold look which is just short of YFYS. As ugly as it looks, it’s not the most horrible thing in the world. It has the colors of the Italian flag done in military style bars, a shirt pocket, and, as much as I hate to say it, I’m a sucker for the metallic look.
Years in Serie A: 68 (Current Term, since 2007-08)
Colors: Sky Blue and White
Sponsors: Lete Acqua (Italian Mineral Water), MSC Cruise Lines
SSC Napoli is the southernmost mainland Serie A team. Based in Naples, the club has had both the highest of highs, back in the 1980’s when they won two scudetti thanks to possibly the greatest Argentinian footballer in the history of ever, Diego Maradona, as well as the past three seasons, challenging Juventus for the Scudetto with possibly the greatest Uruguayan footballer in the history of ever, Edinson Cavani, and the lowest of lows, when the team filed for bankruptcy in the early 2000’s, but ultimately took two years to return to Serie A. Napoli is a team on the rise; despite selling Cavani to Paris St. Germain for a whopping 65 million Euros, the team has been spending freely, acquiring top talent from around Europe in the hopes of challenging Juventus for this year’s Scudetto. (By the way, Napoli is my favorite soccer team, in case you didn’t already guess.)
Up until this year, I held Napoli’s kits in the highest regard. They were generally clear of bells and whistles, and could be regarded as one of the most underrated, if not the best kits in Serie A. This year: Oy Vey! Thank God the home kit is practically unchanged from last year, or my corneas would probably commit suicide. Can’t say the same for the road kit or the third. The road kit is a horrible camo pattern obviously intended to try and support the military, and no, this is not the Carabinieri’s official camo pattern. The third kit returns to YFYS after a one year absence. What’s worse is that they aren’t even regarded as “home” “away” or “third” kits, rather, they are, and I quote. “Azzuro Force” for the home, “Camo Fight” for the road, and “Yellow Power” for the third. Seriously. Did Macron partner with Nike on this? All in all, it’s tragic what Napoli has done to themselves, but hey, at least Cavani isn’t wearing it. He’s wearing… Oh god.
Thanks (again) Alex. Great stuff so far. We’ll have the third (and final) part of this Serie A series on an upcoming weekend. Readers? What say you?
Last evening, the Cincinnati
Greens Camos Blacks REDS introduced three new jerseys for the 2014 season: A Green lettered St. Paddy’s Day jersey, a camo jersey & cap (which looks remarkably similar to the Mets recently released jersey and cap), and a new black batting practice smock (which is now in addition to their current red 2014 batting practice smock).
The marketing opportunities abound.
The St. Paddy’s day jersey (which I actually like, especially since Cincy has a history of St. Paddy’s day jerseys) will be worn exactly once — on March 17th. Which is completely appropriate (if unnecessary) since St. Patrick’s Day comes only once a year. But you can bet they’ll generate some extra sales of this one-off.
The black BP jersey is completely unnecessary (unless you’re looking to boost merch sales), especially since they already have a perfectly adequate red BP smock (and a red softball top for actual game play). I realize the Reds (yes, they are named for the color red) don’t have a secondary color (unless you include black, which is currently an accent color on the jerseys, and on the bill of the road cap). But hey, BFBS (which I say this is) sells and, you know, because fuck it.
Finally we have the new camo tops and caps (here’s another look). I’m not going to go off on a rant (Paul took care of that nicely in Thursday’s post) on these atrocities. Fans will be treated to these six times in 2014 (since the Reds are hosting six Military Appreciation games — unlike the Mets who are only holding five — clearly the Reds love the Military more than the Mets).
I actually like that Reds script, which they resurrected from the 1936 team (sporting RED pants in some games, dontcha know!). But that iconic “C” is really what should be splashed on the chest of any jersey worn by the Reds in game play. And all their jerseys really should, you know, have a preponderance of the color red, right? Black, green and camo? Not so much.
We have another new set of tweaks, er…concepts today. After discussion with a number of readers, it’s probably more apropos to call most of the reader submissions “concepts” rather than tweaks. So that’s that.
So if you’ve concept for any sport, or just a tweak or wholesale revision, send them my way.
Please do try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per image — if you have three uniform concepts in one image, then obviously, you can go a little over, but no novels, OK? OK!. You guys have usually been good with keeping the descriptions pretty short, and I thank you for that.
Like the colorizations, I’m going to run these as inline pics — click on each one to enlarge.
And so, lets begin:
We begin today with George Hunt, who has slight tweak for the Pack:
I believe that these uniforms I designed should be adopted by the team for the 2014 season and beyond. It is the perfect blend of tradtion and new uniform technolgy.
Basically, its the uniform that Lombardi wanted, with small modern upgrades.
I’m a firm believer in always matching sock stripes with sleeve stripes, and helmet stripes with pant stripes. It is pleasing to the eye and keeps it classy.
Thanks, and I hope you post this!
As always, GO PACK GO!!!!
Sergeant George Hunt, US Army
Next up is Paul Lee, with a slight tweak for the Oakland Raiders helmet:
I always liked the Raiders, but I liked the Cowboys stripes better.
We close today with Jim Rigo who has a tweak for the Browns:
Felt the need to repost my redesign from the first disastrous attempt of the chocolate thunder-oos once again sported by the Browns last week. Please break up the scuba pants with the recommended stripe. And limit their use with white tops only. I sense a testing of the waters with a supposed overall redesign next year. Be afraid!!
And that’s it for today. Back with more next time.
U.W.F.F.L. Week 14 Update
By Rob Holecko
Well we’re here – the final week of the regular season for the major league of the UWFFL. All six playoff spots are decided with New York (11-2), Minnesota (11-2) and San Diego (9-4) having clinched the divisional titles and Atlanta (9-4), Detroit (7-5-1) and Miami (7-6) guaranteed the wild cards. All that’s left to sort out is playoff seeding between the #1 and #2 seeds (New York and Minnesota) and the #5 and #6 seeds, (Detroit and Miami).
Here’s the playoff schedule:
The only other thing up for debate in the major leagues is who will be relegated out of the Western Division. Tampa and Chicago have clinched last place in their respective divisions and will be headed to the minors next year, but it the West, the team to be relegated will come down to the final game. Last week Seattle and San Francisco played to a 19-19 tie, and with that tie the S.F. Reign Fire are safe for another year. Take a look at the standings in this division:
So it all comes down to this final game between Seattle and Texas, with the loser headed down to the minors next year:
Rumors are that if the Seattle team loses and gets relegated, they may be headed out of town. A Mayflower truck was spotted warming up its’ engine at team headquarters earlier this week with “Oklahoma City, OK” visible on the dash-mounted GPS, but the driver had no comment. At any rate, their replacement may already be around, as this poster has been omniously spotted around town (at right ->)
So after voting in that big contest, head on over to the UW Fantasy Football webpage to vote on the rest of this week’s games — plenty of good action going on across all the leagues. Check out San Francisco’s Hunger Games: Catching Fire themed uniform as well as nice “Salute To The Military” uniforms from Birmingham and this effort from Sacramento which is intended to honor the “2,402 fallen servicemen and women who lost their lives” in the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, which they will wear in their game against the Brooklyn Uni Watchers.
Thanks for participating, and join us anytime at http://www.uwfantasyfootballleague.com.
Uni Watch News Ticker:
In soccer uni news, the San Antonio Scorpions of the NASL are asking their fans to pick their favorite (top two, out of 10 possible) kit combinations for the 2014 season (thanks to Travis Lux). … Auburn posted this to their official FB page yesterday, “effectively telling Missouri’s rotating door of uni combinations where to stick it,” says Kris McInnis. … Reader Anthony Nuccio thinks these warmups could be used for the Outdoor Classic next year. “I’m not sure how legit that is or not, but it’s a neat look regardless,” he adds. … Another coach going the trademarking route (thanks, Paul). … This Seattle Sonics blog seems to think the NBA sleeved jerseys violate the rules. … Kevin Clark sends in this from THN: Top 10 logos we miss from the NHL’s golden era. … Wondering what’s in store for D.C. United’s next kit? Here’s some thoughts. … A few things from Charles Noerenberg: The Minnesota Wild appear to have altered the lace-up collar on their green jersey”“similar to what we’re seeing on the Outdoor Series uniforms being released, the Wild jerseys are now all laced in three straight lines, instead of the usual zig-zag pattern (and notice the non-matching helmet shades); In a bizarre occurrence Wednesday, Flames captain Mark Giordano appeared in a postgame interview on NHL Network wearing the team’s new alternate jersey -”“ except they’d worn their regular home jerseys during the game! … It’s funny how some people don’t appreciate the simple beauty of the NY Giants uniforms (thought I wouldn’t mind them wearing the white pants more). … Josh Claywell asks, “For some reason, his number is backward in this ad. Any idea why?” (I think it’s just folded under myself). … “Bill Simmons didn’t use the Wizards name in his most recent article. I wonder why,” says Wil Moore. … The AFL’s Brisbane Lions “made an unfortunate crop on their logo on their practice jumpers for 2014,” says Leo Strawn. “Not sure what it looks like to others, but the back top portion of the jumper looks to me like a porcupine burying its face into a woman from behind.” … Pearl Jam fan (and yesterday’s Birthday Boy) James T. Huening attended the PJ show in Seattle, and remarks, “Go, umm … Sonics?. … Speaking of birthdays, the Angels were born on 12/6/60. … The World Cup draw was yesterday, and already the crests are grouped (and it looks like for sale on t-shirts). … This commercial for Bigg Shots has Saints-Falcons in color on color game, Falcons players in numberless jerseys (thanks to Chris Mycoskie).
Too Good For The Ticker…
Finally, we are treated to two wonderful photos from Bruce Menard (click to enlarge):
For the weekend Uni Watch, I thought you might like a few pics I just finished cleaning up from the October 21, 1962 NFL game, Detroit Lions vs. New York Giants.
They were taken at Yankee Stadium in real color and they’re really large, perfect for a screensaver. It took some extra sleuthing to track down the exact date, but looking at the 1960’s schedules pins down the Oct.’62 date. The uniforms are simple and bold…and the advertisements on the back of the outfield walls are amazing. You can also see the original Yankee Stadium monuments in one of them.
Let me know what you think…
Thanks, Bruce — those are great!
And that’s going to do it for this fine Saturday (which is Pearl Harbor Day, “A day that will live in infamy” for those who aren’t aware — we probably won’t see any tributes on unis for this today, but hey, at least someone cares). Got some good NCAA Football on tap today, so enjoy those games, and I’ll be back with Catherine and TJ tomorrow for a final wrap up of the regular season games (they’ll be back during Bowl Season, so fear not). Everyone have a great day.
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“I’m definitely of the school that says that once an American ethnic group faces zero bigotry, enjoys higher-than-average family incomes, and produces Whitey Bulger, that group should not get all shirty about perceived slights.”